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Best ways and places to enjoy 'Star Wars' as a family

Photo: 501st Legion


When the first frames of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” light up screens all over town, it’s a good bet that a lot of the people cheering the loudest will be parents.

After all we grew up watching the original trilogy, and when we hear the opening fanfare of John Williams’ score we feel a familiar sense of anticipation. When the current trilogy started four years ago, with “The Force Awakens,” many of us had a new source of excitement: sharing this amazing story with our kids.

(That is, if our kids are ready for it. The movie is more than 2 hours long and there’s some scary parts. Common Sense Media recommended the last two installments “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi” were best for kids over 10, but you don’t need to look long before finding another opinion. Upshot: think carefully about whether your kid is ready.)

For maximum Star Wars fan hype, the place to be is Cinerama. On opening night, the 501st Legion (“Vader’s Fist”) a dedicated local group of cosplayers will attend in full regalia for pictures. The theater will have a special themed popcorn bucket and a display case will show precious Star Wars artifacts from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection: Obi Wan Kenobi’s cloak and a T.I.E. fighter filming miniature from “A New Hope,” (1977), a Storm Trooper helmet that appeared in “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back”(1980), and Darth Vader’s fighting helmet from “The Empire Strikes Back.”

The audience will be part of the attraction. Many will come in costume. At the opening of the most recent installment, “The Last Jedi,” there were many small girls dressed as the Jedi warrior, Rey, says Anna Imperati, Director of Marketing & Communication at Vulcan Arts + Entertainment.

“They came ready and in character and were fierce.”

The movie will be at Cinerama from Thursday, Dec. 19, through Thursday, Jan. 9. The first two days and most of the first weekend sold out quickly.

In previous installments, the excitement has not ended at opening weekend. In previous years, people still cheer the opening credits of the movie, a week into the run, says Brian McFadin, director of operations at Vulcan Arts +Entertainment.

Could be all those busy parents, avoiding talk about the movie’s plot points as they deal with holiday obligations, biding their time until they can get some Star Wars.

Fiona Cohen requests no spoilers for the movie, as she is planning to watch it on Dec. 27, with her kids, husband, brother and sister.

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